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Sri Lanka 57 runs away from series-clinching win

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Tillakaratne Dilshan struck an unbeaten half-century as Sri Lanka, chasing 160 runs for a series-clinching victory, cruised to 103 for one wicket at tea on the fourth day of their second and final test against Bangladesh on Tuesday.

Dilshan (52) was unbeaten after a brisk 57-ball knock that included six boundaries, having added 72 runs with Kumar Sangakkara who was batting on 33.

Opener Dimuth Karunaratne's (16) wicket was the only success for Bangladesh, who recorded their first ever draw against Sri Lanka in the Galle test last week.

Left-handed Karunaratne was adjudged lbw after he did not offer any shot to a Robiul Islam delivery that hit him in front of the stumps.

Earlier, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath celebrated his 35th birthday with career-best figures of seven for 89 to push Sri Lanka towards victory.

Herath claimed a match haul of 12 wickets for 157 while joining the 200 test wicket club as Bangladesh folded for 265 runs in their second innings at lunch, setting Sri Lanka a 160-run victory target with five sessions to go.

Bangladesh, having resumed at 158 for four, lost their ninth wicket two minutes before the scheduled lunch break which was delayed by 15 minutes for an extended morning session.

Herath struck immediately in the first over of the day, dismissing overnight batsman Mominul Haque (37) when short-leg fielder Dimuth Karunaratne took a bat-pad catch.

Nasir Hossain left without troubling the scorers, yorked by Herath after going for an ambitious drive.

Those two quick wickets pushed Bangladesh onto the back foot but skipper Mushfiqur Rahim (40) refused to give up. He got some support from Sohag Gazi (26) and Abul Hasan (25 not out) down the order before Herath struck again.

After removing Gazi, Herath had the Bangladesh skipper caught at slip for his 200th test wicket that effectively broke the back of the Bangladesh resistance.

Among the Sri Lankans, only Muttiah Muralitharan (795) and Chaminda Vaas (355) have taken more test wickets.

Abul Hasan hit two sixes and a four before Shaminda Eranga ended the visitors' innings by removing Robiul Islam.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130318/bangladesh-strong-start-second-innings